A THREE-MAN cheese company has clinched a national distribution contract with Tesco after winning the retailer’s annual Cheese Challenge competition.
The deal was said to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to Bath Soft Cheese, whose organic “Wyfe of Bath” was judged Britain’s best unknown cheese.
Tesco cheese buyer Alain Guilpain praised the cheese’s qualities, which he compared to to French Comté.
Its creamy, nutty flavour which was ideal with fruit or a light red wine, he added.
Bath Soft Cheese had been finding trading tough and was set to give up, according to business manager Alex Dunbar.
“Unfortunately mounting overheads and fierce competition has meant a real struggle for us recently.
“We said at the start of the summer that if sales didn’t pick up soon we would have to consider our future.
“We heard about the Tesco Cheese Challenge and decided to give it one more throw by putting forward The Wyfe of Bath.
“Winning the Tesco Cheese Challenge is the best bit of luck we’ve had and we will probably now have to take on extra staff to meet the production.”
The deal will bring The Wyfe to customers representing 28% of the UK’s £1.5bn a year cheese market, Tesco estimates.